vicsim

Difference in betwwen flying FMS and Direct GPS.

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So I am flying in my ATR 72-500 and the question popped into my head.....what is the difference in between acivating the FMS (with a fully loaded flght plan) and flying with the Garmin.  I understand that the FMS will have fuel, altitude and other metrics that the GPS doesnt care about but from a navigational perspective.....is there a difference?  How about in the real world?  Thanks guys!

 

Victor

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First of all I don't really understand what you are asking. Both FMS and Garmin (I fly in the real world using Garmin G1000) use GPS (or other sources) for navigation and both provide pilot with other items like needed fuel, diversion options, airport info, etc. So in reality FMS and G1000 are very similar, the only difference is that they were certified for very different aircraft. 

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As Michal says, GPS is a satellite-based system for determining your position. An FMS is simply one form of interface to the GPS system. Your smartphone is another, so is your portable car satnav and so is a dedicated aviation 'satnav' like a handheld Garmin Aera or a panel-mounted solution like the G1000 or GNS430.

The difference is the interface. Obviously FMS stands for 'Flight Management System' and in most modern aircraft navigation is only one part of this: the FMS typically will also deal with performance, it will talk to the autopilot and flight guidance system and so on. Obviously a handheld GPS cannot do any of this any more than your portable car satnav can drive your car for you.

A properly-certified panel-mounted system like the G1000 is in effect a form of FMS and therefore is not going to be fitted to an aircraft which already has its own FMS.

One important point to note is that you cannot fly RNAV/GPS based instrument procedures (eg RNAV approaches etc) using a handheld GPS - you must use a properly certified panel-mounted set. Obviously the FMS takes care of this in appropriately-equipped aircraft.

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Yeah, perhaps Victor wasn't aware that flying with the Garmin (his words) doesn't mean anything unless you specify what Garmin. These days you can be flying a 20+ million dollar jet - say Cessna Citation Latitude equipped with the latest Garmin G5000. And Garmin can also mean an inexpensive handheld device that is only "legal" for VFR flights.

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